Abu Dhabi International Book Fair: 1,350 publishers from 90 countries lined up

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi will host the 33rd Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF 2024), attracting 1,350 publishers from 90 countries, said organisers.

Themed “Where the World’s Tales Unfold”, the event will take place from April 29 to May 5 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC). Notably, 140 publishers will make their debut appearance alongside 375 local exhibitors.

The announcement was made during a press conference held on Thursday (April 18, 2024) morning.

The Arabic Language Center (ALC) of the Department of Culture and Tourism-Abu Dhabi (DCT-AD) has unveiled a diverse array of activities for the fair, totalling over 2,000 offerings across cultural and cognitive domains.

These activities aim to engage participants from various segments of society, enriching the cultural experience for all attendees.

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Local exhibitors

The group of local exhibitors include publishers, distributors, and government entities, who will be presenting their latest releases.

Speaking at the press conference, Dr Ali bin Tamim said: “This year’s edition of the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is the most beautiful to date; it underlines the great success the event has had in achieving Abu Dhabi’s strategy, as the capital of the United Arab Emirates, to spearhead efforts to advance the presence of the Arabic language in creative and cultural industries, building on the momentum of its International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries and its success in becoming the most influential Arab platform in this key sector.”


“Since its establishment by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the UAE, and the unwavering and generous support of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the fair has set the standards and traditions now followed by book fairs across the Arab world,” Dr Ali bin Tamim added.

“This includes selecting countries to be a Guest of Honour, where this year, we are proud to spotlight the Arab Republic of Egypt, as well as our Focus Personality programme and our comprehensive cultural and intellectual agenda featuring debates, professional programmes, popular international podcasts, and more.”

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Cultural event

“This, in turn, expands the concept of a book fair, opening up new prospects for cultural and intellectual exchange,” he said.

“The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair has successfully struck balance in its content, format, narrative, and objectives, presenting a premier cultural product that bridges the past and present, addresses the future, and contributes towards ensuring the sustainability of knowledge, culture, and related industries.”

For his part, Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji presented highlights of the cultural events and knowledge activities planned for this year’s fair. “The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair has become a staple on the cultural and creative calendar, awaited by all members of the community, as well as a meeting point for creators from around the world looking to showcase their works and make their mark on the cultural scene,” he said.


“This year’s fair will present a diverse cultural programme that includes sessions, seminars, and cultural and knowledge dialogues featuring a selection of authors, thinkers, and creatives from various fields,” Al Tunaiji added.

“Moreover, Egypt will participate with a full schedule of events reflecting its cultural and intellectual role, alongside activities and programmes dedicated to the Focus Personality.

“ Meanwhile, all participating countries will have their showcases at their respective pavilions. The event presents the audience with cultural, professional, and creative arts programmes, as well as activities for children and youth, exhibitors, and partners, among other carefully curated events.”

This year’s edition will be welcoming 12 countries participating for the first time – Greece, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Pakistan, Cyprus, Mozambique, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Brazil.

The event offers the audience a diverse set of activities and cultural events, and this year’s edition will see a comprehensive digital payment system implemented for the first time in the Fair’s history.

On another note, China will participate significantly this year with nine pavilions, making it the country’s largest presence at any book fair in the world.

Guest of honour

The exhibition this year hosts the Arab Republic of Egypt as a Guest of Honour to engage the audience with a rich and diverse cultural programme reflecting its intellectual, knowledge, and civilisational history.

Egypt’s selection for the programme reaffirms the deep-seated and historic relationship between the two countries, underlining the ALC’s commitment to enhancing cultural and intellectual collaboration, building on Egypt’s role as a beacon of knowledge, culture, and art that has influenced the cultures and knowledge of the masses with creative content across various fields.

Focus personality

The ADIBF has chosen renowned Arab and international novelist Naguib Mahfouz as the Focus Personality of this year’s edition, in recognition of his great role and achievements that have long drawn attention to Arab culture and Arabic novels.

This year’s fair celebrates the first Arab author to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, making an undeniable impact with his literary works, most notably the ‘Cairo Trilogy’ and ‘Children of Gebelawi’, which were banned from publication in Egypt until recently, along with other influential works by the author.

Focus personality programme

ADIBF 2024 dedicates a comprehensive programme to its Focus Personality, offering a unique space to delve into the rich and creative worlds Naguib Mahfouz has created, exploring his origins, and analysing and appreciating his works.

This includes in-depth and critical reading of these works, underlining their influence on various aspects of culture and other arts.


Focus Personality Pavilion

The Book Fair offers visitors an immersive and exceptional experience to familiarise themselves with this year’s Focus Personality through a distinguished pavilion that will take the audience on a journey through Naguib Mahfouz’s historical works, his life, secrets, and much more.

The pavilion’s design was inspired by the Egyptian neighbourhood that the late writer was keen to embody in his immortal works.

Book of the World

In a new and notable step in its history, the fair is introducing the “Book of the World” programme this year, which sheds light on a book that has influenced the course of literature and culture around the world, and influenced various cultures throughout history.

This year’s Book of the World is ‘Kalila wa Dimna’ by Abdullah Ibn al-Muqaffa, which has had an enduring impact throughout history and across cultures.

The dedicated programme for the Book of the World sheds light on the literary genre the book belongs to, which this year is the fable, bringing together renowned experts and specialists to explore it.

This coincides with the art exhibition organised by the Louvre Abu Dhabi on the book, in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, and the panel discussion on ‘Fables: Between the East and the West’, among other activities.

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